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  • Michelle Peterson

Mommy, why are women's breasts bad?

"Women's breasts are not bad! Why would you say that?"

"Well, lots of posters have men with no shirt on but whenever there is a poster with a women with no shirt on they cover her breasts."

Leave it to little girls to ask the really big questions.

My response was a pilotless flight that cruised passed social consciousness, the oppression of female sexuality, nude beaches and somehow crash-landed at the school steps with talk of burkas?

I waved goodbye with my head spinning. Why are we covering women’s breasts? Are they learning women’s breasts are “bad” or somehow evil? What are the messages passing us everyday on cabs, busses and billboards contributing to their ideas about sex and sexuality?

As I continued on my way, I wondered about my answers. Did I say the right things? How could I have answered her question better? I probably could have left out the part about the burkas.

Either way, I am glad Annabelle asked her question aloud this morning instead of just internalizing the idea "Women's breasts are bad." I am glad we had a slow walk to school to discuss it. And, I'm glad that both she and her brother contributed their ideas and thoughts to the topic, which may have been more important than anything I had to add.

It's a big discussion and I'm sure if we keep our eyes out, and I keep my ears open, we will have many opportunities to continue it.

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